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The Upside of Shame

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In an era when shameless behavior seems rife, this exposition of the positive functions of shame--a tour de force on an affect more dreaded than appreciated--is welcome. The authors base their contribution on the work of my former mentor, Silvan Tomkins, who always hoped his thinking would eventually influence psychotherapy. As befalls many people of genius, his theories were often ignored or devalued during his lifetime, but now affective neuroscience has confirmed much of what he deduced. Tomkins's remarkably prescient, clinically relevant ideas are finally accessible in this book, which is written without jargon and illustrated by vivid case material. I recommend it to therapists of all backgrounds, theoretical orientations, and levels of experience, as well as to anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the human condition.--Nancy McWilliams, PhD, ABPP, Rutgers University Graduate School of Applied & Professional Psychology I recommend this work for clinicians because the authors draw attention to how to formulate potential as well as expressed emotions along with consideration of how to therapeutically alter a patient's habitual avoidances of these potentials. The approach creates safety and the use of shame potentials in productive motivations.--Mardi Horowitz, M.D., Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry UCSF, Author of Adult Personality Growth in Psychotherapy

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